What Jesus Never Got To Say
We have four gospels in the Bible that record Jesus’ words, at least in part. I’d love to know what else he said in the last few years of his life. Obviously it was much more than what is recorded in the gospels.
One thing I’ve always wondered about is this: Why did Jesus say these words on the cross? “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” What kind of a loving father turns their back on the death of their son? I’ve heard it explained in several ways. I’d like to toss one more possible explanation into the mix.
First, let’s look at a text from Luke chapter 4, beginning in verse 16.
16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Here’s Jesus, in the temple of Nazareth, announcing to the people that the scripture from Isaiah was written about him, and he was the fulfillment of that scripture. Wow! Those are some bold words! Needless to say, the people assembled there did not appreciate what he said. They would have been fine if he had just stopped with the reading. But saying “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your hearing” was over the line.
Fast forward to the crucifixion. Jesus says those famous words: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” What I’ve never heard any preacher say is this: Jesus was once again quoting scripture! The full text of Psalm 22:
1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 2My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. 3Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. 4In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
5To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 6But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. 7All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8“He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
9Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. 10From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. 12Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. 15My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. 17All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. 18They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
19But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. 20Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. 21Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. 23You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! 24For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
25From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows. 26The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him—may your hearts live forever!
27All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, 28for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.
29All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. 30Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 31They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
There are SO MANY things in this chapter that directly correlate with the gospels’ accounts of the crucifixion! Verse 7: All who see me mock me. Verse 15: My mouth is dried up. Verse 16: They pierce my hands and my feet. Verse 18: They cast lots for my garment. And there are more parallels in the text as well.
So, two thousand years after the fact, let me say the words Jesus never got to say from the cross.
This day is this scripture fulfilled.